Image Courtesy of Marvel Comics
Hello everybody! What a wintry day we are having! Thankfully, since you’re all hopefully staying inside, I have something to occupy your time. In today’s review, I’ll be looking at issues 7-12 of “Guardians of the Galaxy” by Donny Cates. I know this is another review that’s been a long time coming, but I wanted to wait for the arc to conclude so I could review the entire thing at once. So, with all that out of the way, let’s see what’s in store!
Issues 7-12 is an arc titled “Faithless” and serves as the conclusion to Cates’ time on the book before Al Ewing takes over going into 2020. I have to say, this was a surprisingly short run, even by modern industry standards. Then again, maybe this was all Cates could come up with. He’s a brilliant writer, but no writer can come up with endless ideas for whatever they are doing. Some might have 500 issues worth of ideas. Others, like Cates, might only have 12 issues worth. It’s best to let the creator go out on their own terms rather than forcing them to stay on something that they have nothing for. At least, that’s my opinion.
Talking about these issues in particular, I’m very happy with how this wrapped up. Cates has a way of bringing new dimensions to characters while still keeping their personality as previously established. Honestly, what he managed to do with Guardians has been a small miracle since the book has been receiving muddled reviews over the last several years. No matter who’s on it, every incarnation has been unceremoniously canceled within 18 months and then brought back again only for the cycle to repeat itself. However, I think this run was the signal for change. Why? Because it brought more heart and depth to the characters than the series has seen in at least a decade. Although the real heart-wrenching stuff doesn’t come in until this last arc.
“Faithless” is quite a punch to the gut. So, here’s the deal: The Universal Church of Truth (more like a cult) has returned from the future with a mission to conquer death. To accomplish this, their basic plan is to sap the willpower from every living creature in the universe and then brainwash them into following them. As if that wasn’t bad enough, their leader is Peter Quill’s dictator father, J’son. These two have a contentious relationship, to say the least. As usual, the core members of the team go in with a half-baked plan that ultimately fails. What a surprise! Left with no other choice, the remaining Guardians must call in their last hope for backup: Rocket Racoon.
I know it’s been a while, but if you remember my last review of this book, I mentioned that they don’t like to talk about Rocket. Well, now we know why. No spoilers if you haven’t read this yet, but he’s not in the best shape and would rather be left alone. The only reason he’s agreed to help is that the team members who’ve been captured are the only family he’s ever had. It’s true, even if he won’t admit it. This right here is what I mean when I say that Cates is so good at introducing new character elements. Rocket’s always been a tragic character. Yet somehow, Cates has found a way to make him even more tragic and sympathetic. Again, no spoilers.
Without revealing anything, I’ll say that I’m very happy with this arc and Cates’ run as a whole. I dare say this was practically perfect. Now, I can see where some would complain that this series was too “inside baseball” with all the ties to the other cosmic adventures that Cates was writing at the time. Especially the last issue, which was chock-full of them. However, I’d argue that the book was perfectly self-contained with just the right amount of references to make you curious about the other books, but not make them a requirement to understand what’s happening. Make sense? I also think this run ends in a perfect place for Ewing to take the book in whatever direction he wants during his run. And, given the fact that Ewing has his roots in cosmic storytelling, I think The Guardians are in good hands.
I think that does it for today, folks. Did you enjoy my review? I hope so. And, if you read this Guardians run, what did you think of it? I’m sure not everyone will share my opinion. As for what’s coming next, I’ll have plenty of comic and TV content, as well as a review of the entirety of “Spider-Man: Velocity”. So, I hope you look forward to all that! Until next time, stay comical!